It was one week ago that fire crews knocked on the doors of those living in the restricted area on South Park Street, telling them to pack their bags and get out. Thirteen residential units were evacuated as a safety precaution while engineers work to remove a crane that toppled over during Hurricane Dorian.
But since then, evacuees say they’ve been given next to no information or updates on the situation.
“It’s insanely frustrating,” said Rebecca Carole, who was evacuated with her boyfriend Zack Bateman with no word on when they can return.
“It could be a few weeks it could be a couple months, I’m honestly not really sure.”
Bateman says officials need to keep those affected in the loop.
“We want updates on the crane situation, how long it’s going to take to get it down,” he said.
“We need those estimates, we need that information so we can kind of plan our lives accordingly.”
Since being evacuated the pair has moved around a few times, from a relatives place, to a hotel, to an Airbnb.
“Everything is just kind of topsy-turvy right now,” said Bateman. “We’ve had to spend so much money compared to what we’d usually be spending.”
Residents forced out of their homes because of the crane are now receiving some support from property management company WM Fares, which owns the site where the crane was being used. The company is reimbursing people for their accommodations.
Carole and Bateman say they’re glad the company is doing the right thing, but they’d also like more information.
“I just want updates. They have my email address, they have my phone number, they have ways to reach me all the time. I just want them to do that,” said Carole.
In the meantime the couple is also hoping to get back into their apartment, even just for a few minutes. Bateman works as a videographer and left all his equipment in their apartment when they were forced out.
“That means I’m losing out on work, I’ve already lost out on work. I was able to do something but I had to rent gear so that’s an expense I don’t’ have usually,” he said.
As engineering crews continue their efforts to bring down the crane, there is still no official timeline. In an emailed statement from Wadih Fares, the president and CEO of WM Fares, it says “all parties are working hard to identify the safest means possible to remove the collapsed crane from the South Park St. structure –and this will determine the approach and timelines.”